Come Oct. 14, drag-racing fans will be in for a real treat. The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) will be coming to the Firebird International Raceway in Chandler for the Arizona Nationals and has added some new components to make the weekend-long event even more exciting and worthwhile.
The NHRA is famously known for its drag race contests between two accelerated vehicles on a track or drag strip over a measured distance, with the losing racer eliminated and the winning racer progressing until only one is left to be named champion.
“The product on the track itself is a phenomenal show,” says Gary Darcy, senior vice president of sales and marketing for the NHRA. “They accelerate up to speeds of 300 mph, and they have tremendous power.”
In addition to vehicles speeding down the track, the NHRA also features the Pro Stock Motorcycle racing category. It may not be brand new to the racing event, but to Arizona fans that have been waiting to see it firsthand, the exciting two-wheel races that can reach speeds up to 200 mph will debut on the Firebird drag strip for the very first time.
One important thing that has been changed for the Arizona Nationals this year is the date. This is the first year that the Arizona races will be held in October instead of earlier in the year, making it a crucial race for the Countdown to the Championship.
“Putting the schedule together is always tricky, but it worked out best for the fall,” says Darcy. “It now falls into the Countdown to the Championship, so it adds an additional level of excitement for the fans in Arizona.”
The Countdown to the Championship is a six-race playoff series that plays a key role in determining season points for champions. Drag racing fans in Arizona will now be able to experience the exhilaration of the Countdown and will have the lucky chance to watch one of the most important races of the year.
Racing fans will also be thrilled to hear that two drag racing legends, Don Garlits and Shirley Muldowney, will be at the Arizona Nationals in celebration of the NHRA’s 60th anniversary celebration. The fans will be able to sign up for meet-and-greets with the two stars, and a private lunch is also available for those interested.
Since 1983, Firebird International Raceway has become one of the top motorsport venues in the world, having an annual attendance of at least 600,000. Besides hosting the Arizona Nationals for the NHRA, the raceway also features other well-known drag racing shows, as well as the popular Monster Truck Nationals.
The Arizona Nationals will take place from Oct. 14-16; and with the NHRA adding new elements to the races, people are bound to enjoy at least one part of the high-speed event.
“We give the most unbelievable experience with motorsports,” says Darcy.